Back to school looks a little different this Fall. If your child won’t be returning to the classroom, it’s important to create an environment that’s conducive to learning. This is uncharted territory for most families, and while we can’t imagine the hardship of trying to navigate this new aspect of childcare, we’re here to help in any way we can. We’ve created a short guide to ensure your space is ready for 2020’s version of back-to-school.
Setting is Key
If you have a teenager, or pre-teen, it may seem like an easy fix to give them their own space within their bedroom for studying. While this is often done in college, it’s not an environment that promotes learning (hence college students pulling all-nighters at the library and not their dorm room). Even more important, this can be a time of frustration, and bringing that energy into what should be a safe space for relaxation can be disruptive–especially for elementary aged students.
Finding a corner of your home to turn into a work space free of distraction, like TV’s and people out walking their dog, is best. Assuming all of the fall and winter season will look like this, giving them a consistent space to return to daily will help them adjust and normalize this way of learning.
For younger children, make their work space an extension of yours. If they associate your home office with getting work done, they’ll be more inclined to “be like mom or dad” at their makeshift work station.
Lighting: Striking a Balance
Traditional classrooms typically feature the cliché fluorescent overhead lighting, and they can get away with this because the eyes aren’t focusing on a computer screen for 8 hours—they don’t have to worry about strain and migraines. Harsh overhead lighting while focusing on a laptop or tablet can be mentally draining.
On the other side of this, positioning your child’s desk against a window may seem like a great way to give them natural light, but the glare this can cast on their screen is equally as straining. Soft or ambient lighting can be relaxing, which can lead to kids growing tired too soon.
So, where do we find a balance? Natural light, coupled with accent lighting from floor lamps, can provide the balance needed to keep productivity levels up without the migraines. Position the work space away from the window, so that the light filtering through is more of an aid than a distraction. Lamps can provide that extra boost on a cloudy or rainy day.